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Theoretically there is nothing wrong with your experiment. But I doubt you could succeed. Firstly, how would you prevent air currents from creating water waves that spoil your measurement? A light source at one end of the pool will heat up the water and cause turbulence. This could spoil your measurement because of scintillation of the light beam in the ...

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I believe you mean "quarter wave plate" rather than quarter wave length: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waveplate Quarter wave plates are sometimes used after polarized beam splitters (PBS). Suppose you have a PBS illuminated by a source. One polarization (say linear horizontal) goes one way and the other (linear vertical) goes the other way. Now suppose ...

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Just as a supplement to ACuriousMind's answer, it is worth noting that buried in the bottom of their paper they actually show what the "spin 1/2" eigenstates are in terms of the regular basis: $|j=1/2\rangle=\frac{1}{\sqrt{2}}(|1, -1 \rangle + |0,1\rangle$) $|j=-1/2\rangle=\frac{1}{\sqrt{2}}(|-1, 1 \rangle + |0,-1\rangle$) where $|l, \sigma\rangle$ is the ...

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Nothing is happening. At least, nothing except that a new generalized quantity suggestively called "angular momentum" was defined and subsequently measured. But nothing we know about the usual angular momentum of photons is changed by this in any way. Standard total angular momentum is $J = L + S$, where $L$ is the orbital and $S$ the spin angular momentum. ...

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A full quantum mechanical description of the interferometer is complicated because it's not an isolated system. But we can do a thought experiment where we imagine it to be made out of mirrors that are floating in free space. Then as Anna has explained, the photon will interact with the entire system, it will not excite vibrational modes of the lattice. This ...

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This hand waving assumption you are making is the crux: At the mirrors A and B (and also at the half-transparent ones not considered) the photon interacts with one or more electrons of the mirror, transferring momentum The photon is not interacting with one or more electron on its way, it is interacting with the lattice of atoms. This means that the ...

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Robert Griffiths is quite fond of Mach-Zehnder experiments as useful windows into interpreting quantum foundations, and he presents calculations for some toy models of M-Z interferometers in Chapter 13 of his book, Consistent Quantum Theory. As a caution, most of this book is written to parallel the consistent quantum histories formulation of quantum ...

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